Second Fulbright for Professor Jun Sung Hong, who heads to Belgium to study cyberbullying

Professor Jun Sung Hong

Social Work Professor Jun Sung Hong has received his second Fulbright Scholar Award and will head to the University of Antwerp this fall to conduct research on cyberbullying.

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program offers over 400 awards in more than 135 countries for U.S. citizens to teach, conduct research and carry out professional projects around the world. It is the United States government’s flagship program of international educational and cultural exchange.

Hong joined the School of Social Work in 2013.

“It’s been very rewarding so far. During the time I’ve been here I’ve really enjoyed the diversity of the faculty and staff, and it’s been very inspiring for my research as well as my practice and teaching,” he says.

Hong received his PhD from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he received his first Fulbright award as part of the 2010-2011 class.

“Fulbright is not new to me, I spent a year in South Korea, where I’m originally from, conducting research there,” Hong explains. “Fast-forward to 2022, I decided to apply for the Fulbright U.S. Scholars Program. I wanted to go to a different country than South Korea, so I chose Belgium.”

Hong studies school violence and bullying. His research in South Korea focused on how parents underestimate their children’s bullying experiences. He will conduct similar research at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, a country Hong says could benefit from his research.

“I know they have some of the most progressive anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying laws, but despite this they have one of the higher rates of cyberbullying among students,” says Hong.

Hong has also conducted research with colleagues in many of Belgium’s neighboring countries, and looks forward to continuing this work.

“The way Belgium is situated, it’s right next to France, Germany and the Netherlands,” he says. “If time permits I’ll be traveling to a few other countries in Europe, and one of my colleagues in Sweden invited me to have a talk at his university. I hope to make a brief visit there as well as Switzerland, Spain and a few other countries.”

For his application, Hong received guidance from Professor Kevin Deegan-Krause, faculty coordinator of the Office of Fellowships. A program within the Office of International Programs, the Office of Fellowships connects students and faculty with international fellowship opportunities, and guides them through the process.

“Fulbright Scholarships offer a great opportunity for professional and personal growth and they are clearly within the reach of Wayne State faculty members and staff,” Deegan-Krause says. “Professor Hong took advantage of the opportunity and the assistance that Office of Fellowships can offer, and we invite all of our faculty and staff to get in touch with us to see how we can help them follow in Professor Hong’s footsteps.”

While his first application taught him what to expect, Hong says the feedback he got from Deegan-Krause made a difference.

“It was a great experience because Dr. Deegan-Krause was able to give me a lot of great feedback, which made me rethink a few things I mentioned. I made revisions based on that,” says Hong.

Hong also talked about his post-Fulbright goals, which he says may have sealed the deal.

“I want to serve as a Fulbright ambassador, to promote Fulbright at Wayne State. I think I mentioned that in my interview, and I think it helped a lot,” says Hong. “My other goal is to promote Fulbright, as well as cultural exchange, with universities in Belgium for Wayne State students.”

As he prepares for his second Fulbright experience, and a career closely tied to international exchange, Hong wants all students interested in global studies to apply.

“I think Fulbright will open doors for a global exchange of ideas,” explains Hong. “I think it will really broaden your horizons quite a bit. It will make you rethink some of your assumptions you hold.

“I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in working globally to apply for Fulbright, whether you’re a student or professor, there’s a Fulbright program out there for you.”

--By Patrick Bernas, Office of International Programs editorial associate

The Office of Fellowships is part of the Office of International Programs, which leads Wayne State’s global engagement by creating opportunities that foster international education and research, facilitate the exchange of individuals and ideas that promote global competencies and citizenship, and provide resources that support the expansion of the university’s global agenda. Follow us @WayneOIP.

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